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Emirates Food Channel

Lamb biryani and yoghurt raita

Chef Ravi Nage
No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. Techniques are easy to learn, but the attitude you start with towards cooking is much more important.




  • Dry roast biryani masala spices (fennel, green cardamom, mace, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, star anise, cumin, coriander seeds, Kashmiri chillies, onion seeds).
  • Grind all dry spices (except black cardamom and bay leaves) and store masala powder in an airtight container.
  • Combining 125g yoghurt, mustard oil and 45g of biryani masala in a large glass bowl for marinating.
  • Toss the lamb chunks into the bowl and rub yoghurt mixture into the meat.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  • Fry cashews separately in ghee. Reserve for garnishing.
  • Fry one cup of the sliced onions in the same ghee. Reserve rest of the onions for later.
  • Remove the marinating lamb chunks from the fridge and set aside for it to reach room temperature.
  • Heat remaining ghee in a casserole, add 60 g garlic, 35 g ginger, 250 g Roma tomatoes and remaining chopped onion.
  • Add the meat chunks to the sautéing mixture, cover the casserole and let it cook until the lamb is tender and the oil has separated.

  • Wash and rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
  • Soak rice in lukewarm water for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Boil six cups of water in a pot and add three tablespoons of salt.
  • Add drained rice to boiling water and cook for 14 minutes.
  • Drain the rice and return it to the pot.
  • Set pot aside and cover for 15 minutes.

  • Spread parboiled rice on a plate.
  • Remove lamb chunks from the casserole.
  • In the same pan add a layer of cooked rice, followed by a layer of lamb chunks and another layer of rice.
  • Between each layer, sprinkle some fried onions, coriander, mint, fenugreek leaves, saffron, kewra water, raisins and fried cashews. The final layer on top should be rice.
  • Cover the lid and cook on low flame for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish with remaining fried onions, mint, fenugreek leaves and coriander.
  • Serve hot lamb biryani with cool raita on the side.

  • Mix together yoghurt, salt and roasted cumin powder in a bowl.
  • Add diced tomato, cucumber and chopped coriander to the bowl and mix well.
  • Garnish with chilli powder and serve cool to enjoy with biryani.